Advanced Train Ticket Booking
- Also known as - Advanced Reservation Period (ARP)
Advance train tickets booking refers to Advanced Reservation Period (ARP) refers to the number of days before which the reservation opens for train ticket booking, excluding the date of travel. 120 days before reservation/booking starts in trains (excluding the date of journey). Indian Railways has increased this period from 60 days to 120 days w.e.f 1st April 2015.
Advanced Train Ticket Booking – Recent Updates
As given above, the Advanced Reservation Period was only limited to 60 days excluding the date of journey. However, it has been revised. The main reason behind this is to a deterrent for touts who book tickets in bulk in advance. This increment in period is very helpful for the real passengers as said by the senior Railway officers.
However, before a couple of years, the reservation periods were assigned at 120 days. Until 2014 passengers were able to book the train tickets before 120 days of intended travel. However, the advanced period was reduced to 60 days in the year 2014.
In 2013 the reservation period was 120 days only then later in 2014 it was reduced from 120 days to 60 days but now again in 2015 it is increased to 120 days. However, all the tickets booking done before 1st may 2013 was under Advanced Reservation Period of 120 days there was no change for these bookings.
Cancellation of the tickets booked beyond the ARP of 120 days will, however, be permitted. Indian Railways did not change anything in the case of ARP limit of 360 days for foreign tourists.
Why ARP Was Changed to 120 Days?
Being a short duration to plan for travel, it was misused by agents and fake travelers who booked bulk tickets and real passengers struggled a lot. Besides, there are a hundred of special trains running every year across different zones and directions. The short duration of 60 days as advanced reservation period created a lot of chaos when it comes to advanced train ticket booking for special occasions and festivals.
Already IRCTC website is hitting too much traffic in the peak hours and booking a ticket under normal quota almost happens like a miracle. This same scenario applies to thousands of passengers who look forward to book advance train tickets for special occasions, holidays and festivals. The short notice created a lot of problems to the genuine passengers.
If you are travelling on 24th December 2016, the advanced reservation period starts from 26th August 2016 at 8 AM IST.
Why ARP System Always Shuffles?
Since the inception of e-ticket facility through IRCTC site, booking tickets have become easier. This facility has apparently reduced the burden of going to the train ticket reservation centre, fill the forms, stand in queues and book the tickets.
Owing to the certain level of difficulties, mostly passengers with definite travel plans booked the tickets.
This is the major drawback when it comes to online train tickets. According to the recent survey, only about 22 % of passengers book the ticket with the definite plan and undertake the journey. Others who have booked advanced train tickets almost tend to cancel the tickets sooner or later.
While it can benefit the Indian Railways, genuine travelers are literally affected a lot. There are thousands of people who struggle due to nonavailability of tickets. The odds of waitlisted tickets getting confirmed is almost like a gamble, which is purely not dependable.
Exceptions to the Advanced Reservation Period
There are quite a few exceptions to the ARP and it remains the same without any changes in the following circumstances.
- There are few daytime express trains like Taj Express, Gomti Express, and several special trains which run only for specific period run with short limits of ARP at the present scenario.
- Similarly, in the case of foreign tourists, the ARP remains the same at 360 days.
- In addition, special festival and tourist trains have special advanced reservation period and program schedule which does not come under 120 days advanced train ticket system.
1) What to do if all the tickets are booked within 120 days before of journey date ?
There is only one way to get the confirmed ticket if all of the seats are booked within 120 days i.e Tatkal reservation but it does not guarantee that you will surely get the confirmed ticket, you should be very fast and smart to book a Tatkal ticket online, you must use tatkal ticket booking software also.
To more about tips and tricks to book a Tatkal ticket please have a look at link Tatkal Train Ticket Booking Tips we have tried our best to give best tips to get a confirmed Tatkal Ticket.
ARP applies for all types of booking, except Tatkal Ticket, for which the reservation opens the day before the travel.
- E-ticket – tickets booked online using IRCTC site, delivered online
- I-Ticket – Tickets booked online using IRCTC site but delivered at registered addresses
- Ticket booking at the reservation counter
- Ticket booking was done through agents
2) Does 120 days means 4 months in advance?
Generally, we consider 120 days of ARP as 4 months, roughly considering each month has 30 days. However, it is definitely not applied to ARP and advanced train tickets booking. There is the possibility that 120 days doesn’t count as 4 months because some of the months have 31 days also. So, you cannot count 120 days of ARP as 4 months and book the tickets considering the 4 months calculation.
3) How to calculate Advanced Reservation Period for trains that have the journey has 2 dates?
- Where the train journey begins at the origin station on a different day and reaches the booking station on the next day?
A train starts from Chennai Central at 10.30 PM and runs towards Trivandrum.
It reaches Madurai Junction about 4 Am, which counts as next day.
Consider the below example:
If you are travelling on 24th December 2016, the advanced reservation period starts from 26th August 2016 at 8 AM IST then-
If the train leaves from the origin station on 24th December, you can book the ticket on 26th August at 8 AM. But if the train leaves from the origin station on 23rd December and reaches the booking station the next day (date) you should book the ticket on 25th August 2016.
If you’re travelling from Chennai to Trivandrum, boarding at Chennai on 24th December, you can book the ticket on 26th August.
If you are travelling from Madurai To Trivandrum (on same train as mentioned above) on 24th December (where the date of journey actually begins on 23rd December) you have book the ticket on 25th August. Apparently, you should consider the actual date on which the train starts from the origin station and not the booking station.
Changes in Advanced Reservation Period doesn’t bring any change in other elements of train ticket booking.
If still you have any query then feel free to ask your questions to our Railway Experts.